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Full text of "Service-pipes for water : an investigation made at the suggestion of the Board of Consulting Physicians of Boston"

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HORSFORD 



SERVICE-PIPES FOR WATER 



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iir OF MEDICINE 

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SERVICE-PIPES FOR WATER 



AN 



INVESTIGATION 



MADE AT THE SUGGESTION OF 



THE BOARD OF CONSULTING PHYSICIANS OF BOSTON, 



E. N. ftORSFORD, 

RUMPORD PROFBSSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY AT CAMBRIDGE. 



From the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts 
and Sciences. 



^0 



CAMBRIDGE: 
METCALF AND COMPANY, 

PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY. 

1849. 



SEEVICE-PIPES FOR WATER. 



Materials for the transmission of water, to be used as a beverage in 
any form, should be strong and durable, admit of ready repair and re- 
placement, be sufficiently cheap to permit general use, and, above all, 
should impart no deleterious property to the waters served through 
them. 

The safety of employing water supplied through wooden aque- 
ducts, and the certainty of their rapid decay, are too well known to re- 
quire more particular mention. 

Pipes of iron, tin, of tinned iron, tinned copper, tinned lead, glass, 
and gutta percha, are of comparatively recent introduction. They are 
believed, so far as experience has shown, to impart few or no deleteri- 
ous properties to water as a beverage, though all of them are wanting 
in some of the essential attributes just mentioned. 

As pipes of lead have been long in use, and possess in an eminent 
degree most of the properties required for aqueduct service, and as the 
following research has been more especially directed to ascertain the 
true value of leaden pipes for the distribution of water, a brief his- 
torical sketch of the opinions that have been entertained with regard 
to the safety of employing them may not be without interest. 

The period of the first employment of lead for transmitting water 
is unknown ; but the circumstance that it was condemned by Vitruvius, 
a Roman architect believed to have lived about nineteen hundred years 
ago, is evidence of its having at that time been long enough in use 
to furnish experience as the basis of its rejection as a material for 



4 

aqueducts.* Galen, a physician of Amsterdam, who wrote in the 
seventeenth century, coincided with Vitruvius. Both had observed the 
formation of white lead in water-pipes, and attributed to it the illness 
which was known to affect those who drank certain waters served 
through leaden pipes. Notwithstanding these strongly expressed opin- 
ions and occasional fatal consequences from drinking water containing 
lead in solution, public sentiment continued strongly in favor of this 
kind of pipes, and until about the commencement of the present cen- 
tury no experimental examination of the subject had been undertaken. 
Dr. Lamb of England, and later Guyton Morveau of France, devoted 
their attention for a time to this inquiry. Their opinions are evidence 
of what must attend the earlier labors in every field of investigation. 
The one believed that most, if not all, spring waters possess the proper- 
ty of acting upon lead to such an extent as to render their conveyance 
through leaden tubes unsafe, and this because of the salts in solution ; 
— the other, that many natural waters scarcely act on lead at all, and 
because of the salts in solution. The former believed that rain or 
snow water (eminently pure) does not corrode lead ; the latter, that dis- 
tilled water, the purest of all waters, acts rapidly on it. Dr. Thomp- 
son of Glasgow subsequently gave some consideration to the subject, 
and came to the conclusion that, though Dr. Lamb's general proposi- 
tion was true, the lead was not dissolved, but suspended merely. 

Such was the doubt upon this point, — the insolubility of oxide of 
lead, — that a scientific association in Germany made it a prize prob- 
lem. The honor of deciding the question was accredited to Brendecke, 
whose views were coincided in by his unsuccessful competitor, Sie- 
bold,t and also by Herberger, who prepared his oxide of lead in a 
different manner, and reported his results at a later period. They de- 
cided that oxide of lead is insoluble in water. 

The imperfection of the investigation and the injustice of this award 
have since been established by the labors of Yorke,t and Bonsdorff, § 

* Leaden pipes may be seen at this day among the ruins of the Coliseum, and 
leading to the baths and fountains of Herculaneum and Pompeii. 

Kopp thinks lead as a metal was known to the Israelites. Geschichle der 
Chemie. It is certain that it was known and in use 400 years before the Chris- 
tian era. 

t Phar. Cent. Blatt , 1835, p. 831 ; Buck. Rep., Ill , pp. 155-179; 

t Pogg.Ann., XXXIII., pp. 110-112. 

§ Phar. Cent. Blatt., 1836, p 520; Buch. Rep., V., pp. 55-59. 



M 



who have found that aerated, distilled water, deprived of carbonic acid, 
oxidates metallic lead and dissolves the oxide in the proportion of from 
raWth to T^ijxyth' Even the acute Scheele had remarked the same 
fact in the last century. Philips denied the accuracy of the conclu- 
sions of both Yorke and BonsdorfF, and maintained, with Thompson, 
that the oxide of lead was not soluble, but was only in suspension. 
His view was supported by the fact, that filtration seemed to separate 
the lea*d from the water that originally contained it. In 1846 Yorke * 
reviewed the investigation of Philips, and showed that, in the process of 
filtration, the oxide of lead enters into combination with the woody fibre 
of the filtering paper. By filtering for some time through the same 
paper it became saturated, and the lead in solution passed without de- 
tention. 

Christison, to whom we are indebted for a careful record of the 
principal conflicting opinions upon this subject, repeated and extended 
the experiments of Guyton Morveau, to ascertain the effect of solutions 
of certain salts in water. He came to the conclusion that arseniates, 
phosphates, sulphates, tartrates, and even chlorides, acetates, and ni- 
trates, possess the power of protecting lead from the action of the wa- 
ter. Of the nature of this protecting power he acknowledges that he 
has no clear conception. He assured himself that it does not in all 
cases arise from the formation of an insoluble coat consisting of the 
acid of the employed salt united to the oxide of lead, by finding that 
the coat, which for the most part, in his experiments, consisted of car- 
bonate of lead, readily dissolved in acetic acid. This author has sug- 
gested that leaden pipes, before being laid down for service, should be 
exposed a length of time to solutions of some of the salts, denominated 
protecting, since he had observed that leaden pipes, which poisoned 
certain waters when first served, after a time became coated, and pass- 
ed the same waters without injury to the health of those who drank 
them. 

The city of London has long been supplied with water distributed 
through lead, and though occasional excitements upon this subject have 
sprung up in Great Britain from individual cases of poisoning, the pre- 
vailing public sentiment is in favor of lead. Professor Graham states 
that in London lead only is used for service-pipes. 

The exemption of Paris from illness derived from this cause is 

* Phil. Mag., XXVIII., pp. 17-20. 



asserted by Tanquerel.* This is believed to be true of all the larger 
European towns whose inhabitants are supplied with water from public 
reservoirs. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Amsterdam were 
poisoned by drinking rain-water that had fallen on leaden roofs. Up- 
on replacing the lead with tiles, the maladies ascribed to the former dis- 
appeared. 

We find ourselves at the conclusion of the literature of the Old 
World upon this subject with these impressions : — 

1st. That some natural waters may be served from leaden pipes 
without detriment to health. 

2d. That others may not ; and 

3d. That we have no method of determining beforehand whether 
a given water may or may not be transmitted safely through lead. 

Professor Silliman, Jr., in his able report on the various waters sub- 
mitted to him by the Water Commissioners, in 1845, has given the re- 
sults of some experiments upon the action of several waters on lead, 
which conducted him to the general conclusions above expressed.! 
Among those who have taken strong ground against leaden service- 
pipes for the transmission Of water may be mentioned Drs. Chilton 
and Lee of New York, and Drs. Dana and Hayes of Lowell. 

The occasion of the following research was the request by the 
Board of Consulting Physicians of the city of Boston, in January of 
1848, that a comparison of the action of Cochituate Lake, Jamaica 
Pond, and Croton and Schuylkill River waters upon lead should be in- 
stituted. 

Cochituate water was about to be introduced into Boston for the 
supply of the city. Jamaica water has been employed in certain sec- 
tions of the city of Boston since the year 1795, and for the last twenty 
years served through leaden pipes. Croton River water, since 1842, 
has been supplied through iron mains and leaden service-pipes to the 
citizens of New York, a city of 400,000 inhabitants. Schuylkill River 
water, since the year 1815, has been supplied through iron mains and 
leaden distribution-pipes to the inhabitants of Philadelphia, a city of 
300,000 inhabitants. 

The inquiry that early presented itself to the Board of Consulting 

* Tanquerel on Lead Diseases, edited by Dana, App., p. 396. 
f Boston Water- Com. Report, App., 1845. 



A, 



Physicians was the following : — Will there be greater liability to lead- 
disease from drinking Cochiluate toater served through iron mains and 
leaden pipes, than there is now from drinking Fairmount or Croton 
waters similarly served, or Jamaica water possibly less favorably 
served than Cochiluate water will be 7 

To answer this question, Croton, Fairmount, Jamaica, and Cochit- 
uate waters were provided with care, and the proposition made, that 
lead should be presented to them all under similar circumstances. 

It was not proposed to introduce the absolute conditions of actual 
service in a series of laboratory experiments. It was conceived that, 
when in contact with lead, all the external circumstances being the 
same, the differences in the action upon lead would be a kind of expo- 
nent of the differences in constitution among the waters. 

A sufficiently extended series of experiments, it was believed, would 
reveal all the expedients to be resorted to in order to the fulfilment of 
the required conditions, and would, if duly protracted, furnish replies 
to the various inquiries into which the main problem of the measure of 
safety or danger resolved itself. 

Should the experiments result in showing that the several waters 
were alike in their action upon lead, then would the citizens of Boston, 
in drinking Cochituate water served from leaden pipes and iron mains, 
be as little liable to lead-disease as are the citizens of Philadelphia and 
New York who drink Schuylkill and Croton water similarly served, 
and that portion of the citizens of Boston who have for nearly a quarter 
of a century employed Jamaica water served through lead. Should 
Cochituate water be found to act less on lead than Jamaica water, all 
external circumstances being the same, then would the question be 
affirmatively and more satisfactorily decided ; since these two waters 
occur in the same geological associations, are about equally pure, and 
the latter has been drank under less favorable circumstances than 
Cochituate will be, so far as the relations to lead are concerned. 
' On the other hand, should the inequality in action of the waters be great, 
and that of the Cochituate uniformly most energetic, then would the 
question, so far as this mode of investigation could influence it, be 
decided in the negative. 

The experimental result being favorable, the question of probable 
future illness to arise from drinking Cochituate water would be decided 
by an appeal to those physicians of New York, Philadelphia, and Bos- 
ton, whose extensive practice and standing in the profession demand 



confidence in their opinions ; and by an appeal to public sentiment, 
where every day's experience among all classes, the less and the 
more careful, contributes to its formation. 

Such experiments have been made with all the waters above 
mentioned, and at the same time, in many cases, parallel suites with 
Albany and Troy reservoir waters, Cambridge well-water, and distuled 
water, contemplating all the conditions that could be expected to occur. 

They were conducted in an apartment where, with rare excep- 
tions, no other laboratory labor was carried forward than that con- 
nected with this investigation, and in which the tests with hydrosul- 
phuric acid were not made. Whatever influences from temperature 
or other causes operated upon any one of the waters operated equally 
upon each of the others. With the exception of Cochituate water, 
which possessed a yellowish-brown tint, the samples were colorless. 

A determination of their general relations to each other was made.* 

Albany Reservoir Water. — 500 cubic centimetres evaporated to 
dryness in a platinum capsule over a water-bath gave, of solid residue, 
0.0924gr. Ignited, the above residue lost 0.0198gr. 

Cambridge Well-water, that does not act on lead so as to produce 
known deleterious effects. — 500cc. evaporated to dryness over a water- 
bath gave, of solid residue, 0.3918gr. ; of which 0.0990gr. were ex- 
pelled by ignition, and of the non-volatile matters 0.0676gr. were in- 
soluble in boiling water. 

Cambridge Well-water, that, in an inch-and-a-quarter pipe several 
years in use dissolves a grain and a half of lead in thirty-six hours. — 
500cc. evaporated to dryness over a water-bath gave, of solid residue, 
0.1380gr. ; of which 0.0540gr. were expelled by ignition. 

Cochituate Lake Water. — I. 500cc. evaporated to dryness over 
a water-bath gave 0.0267gr. of solid residue ; of which 0.0122gr. were 
expelled by ignition, and 0.0050gr. of the remainder insoluble in 
boiling water. — II. 500cc. over a water-bath gave a solid residue of 
0.0267gr. 

Croton River Water. — 500cc. evaporated to dryness over a 
water-bath gave, of solid residue, 0.2175gr. ; of which 0.l496gr. were 
expelled by ignition. 

Fairmount Water, Schuylkill River. — 500cc. evaporated to dry- 

* Professor Silliman, Jr. has made a similar determination of the relations of 
the Croton, Cochituate, and Fairmount waters. Water-Corn. Report, 1845. 



A 



ness over a water-bath gave, of solid residue, 0.3007gr. ; of which 
0.1032gr. were expelled by ignition, and of the non-volatile matters 
0.0239gr. were insoluble in boiling water. 

Jamaica Pond Water. — 500cc. evaporated to dryness over a 
water-bath gave, of solid residue, 0.026Sgr. ; of which 0.0115gr. were 
expelled by ignition, and of the non-volatile matters O.OOTOgr. were 
insoluble in boiling water. 

Troy Reservoir Water. — 500cc. evaporated to dryness over a 
water-bath gave, of solid residue, 0.0o93gr. ; of which 0.0181gr. were 
expelled by ignition, and of the non-volatile matters 0.0278gr. were 
insoluble in boiling water. 

The above results may be expressed in tabular form as follows : — 
Table I. 



Distilled water, 


Residue. 


Loss upon being 
Ignited. 


Inorganic 

Mutter. 


Insoluble after 
Ignition. 


0.0000 


0.0000 


o.oooo 


0.0000 


Albany " 


0.0924 


0.0198 


0.0726 




Cambridge " 


0.3918 


0.0900 


0.2928 


0.0676 


Cambridge water ) 
that acts on lead, ) 


0.1380 


0.0540 


0.0840 




Cochituate water, 


0.0267 


0.0122 


0.0145 


0.0050 


ft Ci 


0.02G7 






• . ■ 


Croton " 


0.2175 


0.1496 


0.0679 


. • • 


Fairmount " 


0.3007 


0.1032 


0.1975 


0.0239 


Jamaica " 


0.0268 


0.0115 


0.0153 


0.0070 


Troy 


0.0593 


0.0181 


0.0412 


0.0278 



The following tables of results will sufficiently explain themselves. 
They exhibit quantities of lead which, for practical purposes, have little 
more than relative value in the columns in which they occur. 

The experiments were made with bars of lead cast in a common 
mould, of uniform diameter and length. The quantities of water were 
constant, or as nearly so as might be, in the same series of experi- 
ments. The bars were covered, in test-tubes of a given diameter, with 
fifteen cubic centimetres. 

After exposure out of direct sunlight, except where otherwise 
stated, a length of time indicated in the column of days at the left, a 
suite of similar tubes was filled to the requisite depth with correspond- 
ino- waters, and the bars transferred with the least delay. 

The waters were then acidulated with acetic acid, received each a 
2 



• Jx 



10 

drop of acetate of potassa, — which Fresenius has observed decomposes 
all lead salts not decomposed by hydrosulphuric acid, — and exposed 
to a stream of washed hydrosulphuric acid till the liquid became clear, 
if it had been at first discolored by the precipitate of lead. 

If concentration occurred, it is so stated. The quantities were 
estimated by a method to be described farther on. 

Table II. 

Experiments with Lead to ascertain the Action of Water on Succes- 
sive Days. 
One bar resting on the bottom of each test tube. Waters replaced 
at the date of each result. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


1 


5.000 


2.000 


7.000 


10.000 


3 


0.500 


0.500 


0.000 


10.000 


4 


1.000 


0.500 


2.000 


0.000 


5 


10.000 


2.000 


5.000 


1.000 


6 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.500 


7 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


8 


0.200 


0.200 


0.200 


3.000 


11 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


1.000 


12 


0.100 


0.100 


0.200 


0.500 


13 


0.000 


0.000 


0.100 


0.500 



The first modification of the experiment was in the extent of sur- 
face of lead. 

Table III. 

Experiments with Two Bars of Lead. 

In all other respects the conditions were the same as in the fore- 
going experiments. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 

10.000 


1 


5.000 


5.000 


1.000 


3 


3.000 


2.000 


1.000 


2.000 


4 


0.500 


0.500 


1.000 


0.000 


5 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


6 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.010 


7 


0.100 


0.100 


0.010 


0.200 


8 


0.100 


0.100 


0.010 


3.000 


It 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


1.000 


12 


0.100 


0.200 


0.100 


5.000 


13 


0.100 


0.200 


0.200 


5.000 



*' 



11 

Table IV. 
Experiments with Three Bars. 
Other conditions same as before. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


1 


1.000 


0.500 


0.500 


10.000 


3 


10.000 


2.000 


1.000 


4.000 


4 


5.000 


0.500 


3.000 


40.000 


5 


0.000 


0.500 


1.000 


15.000 


6 


1.000 


0.200 


0.100 


10.000 


7 


0.500 


0.100 


0.100 


8.000 


8 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


4.000 


11 


0.1 00 


0.200 


0.200 


2.000 


12 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


5.000 


13 


0.100 


0.200 


0.100 


3.000 



From the foregoing experiments it was deducible, — 

1st. That the action upon lead was most energetic during the first 
few days of exposure. 

2d. That the differences between the action on one, two, and three 
bars, the volume of water remaining the same, being inconsiderable, 
the action could not be dependent upon the surface of lead exposed, 
but upon some other constant condition. 

The observation, that, where the bar touched the containing tube, the 
action seemed most vigorous, suggested an explanation of the want of 
uniformity in results. It further suggested experiments with suspended 
bars, the results of which are detailed in the following table. 

Table V. 
Experiments with Bars suspended out of Contact with the containing 

Vessel. 
Waters not exposed to sunlight. Average results of four series of 
experiments. One bar to each tube. No concentration. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


1 

2 
3 
4 


15.500 
0.012 
0.012 
0.000 


1.500 
0.012 
0.001 
0.000 


0.280 
0.012 
0.000 
0.000 


80.000 
2.750 
0.027 
0.000 



These experiments and the foregoing seemed to show that, without 
contact of the solid metal with the containing vessel, the influence of 



'; v 



12 

the ' constant condition ' was so far enfeebled, after the first few days, 
as not to have its effects recognized by the ordinary reagents, without 
concentration, after a period of twenty-four hours' exposure. The fol- 
lowing table of results confirms this deduction. 

Table VI. 
Experiments with Water several Weeks exposed to Light and the 
Warmth of the Apartment in which the Experiments were made, by 
which much of the contained Air had been expelled. 
Bars suspended out of contact with the tube. Volume as in the 
preceding experiments. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount.. 


Jamaica. 


Distilled Water. 


1 


1.000 


0.500 


0.000 


0.050 


25.000 


3 


0.050 


0.010 


0.000 


2.000 


15.000 


5 


0.010 


0.000 


0.000 


0.050 


15.000 


7 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


15.000 


9 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


15.000 


12 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


15.000 


17* 


0.020 


0.010 


0.000 


0.000 


30.000 


24* 


0.050 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.500 


39* 


0.500 


0.000 


0.100 


0.100 


3.000 



As the street mains are of iron, it was desirable to know if the 
contact of lead with iron could be more injurious to Cochituate than 
to Croton, Fairmount, or Jamaica water. Experiments were also 
made with Albany and Troy reservoir waters, and the Cambridge 
well-water first in the order of succession in Table I. 

Table VII. 
Experiments with Lead and Iron. 
Iron uppermost. Lead solder. Volume of water the same as in 
previous experiments. 



Days. 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. 


Cam- 
bridge. 


Cochitu- 
ate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 

10.000 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 


3 


8.000 


1.000 


2.000 1.000 


1.000 


10.000 


25.000 


7 


10.000 


0.010 


0.010 0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.500 


0.000 


9 


2.000 


0.000 


0.000 0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


11 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 i 0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


20 


0.000 


0.100 


0.000 0.100 


0.000 


0.000 


0.100 


0.000 


30 


1.000 


0.400 


0.500 


0.800 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.100 


48 0.100 


0.005 


0.100 


0.010 


0.050 


0.000 


0.010 


Lost. 



Water concentrated to one fourth of its volume. 



13 

Discoloration of the bars of lead was least in this order : — Albany, 
Cambridge, Croton, Fairmount, Distilled Water, Jamaica, Cochituate. 
That is, Cochituate, apparently, most promptly and completely coats 
the lead. 

Table VIII. 

Experiments with Lead and Iron. 
Lead uppermost. Lead solder. Volume of water same as in pre- 



VIOUS 


experiments. 














Days. 


Distilled 
Wator. 


Albany. 


Cambridge. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 

0.500 


2 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


3 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


7 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


16 


0.010 


0.010 


0.100 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


26 


0.500 


0.100 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


0.010 


44 


3.000 


0.050 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


Lost. 



'p 



Sections of each bar at first less coated near the iron. Larger 
measure of protoxide of iron in Cochituate and Croton waters than in 
the others, as indicated by ferrocyanide of potassium. Discoloration 
of the bars least in this order : — Fairmount, Distilled Water, Albany, 
Troy, Croton, Jamaica, Cochituate. 



Table IX. 

Experiments with Lead and Iron. 

Soft solder. Volume and other conditions as in previous experi- 
ments. 



Days. 


Distilled 

Water. 


Albany. 


Cambridge. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 


3 
12 
17 


10.000 
30.000 


6.000 
1 .000 
0.000 


6.000 

Lost. 
0.050 


6.000 
1.000 
0.010 


1.000 
1.000 
0.500 


10.000 
1.000 
0.000 


7.000 
1.000 
0.500 


7.000 
2.000 
0.000 



As the stopcocks will, many of them, be of brass, it was impor- 
tant to ascertain the influence of this connection. 



14 

Table X. 

Experiments with Lead and Brass. 

Surfaces of lead and brass nearly equal. Volume of water as be- 
fore mentioned. 



Days. 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. 


Cambridge. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 

5.000 


1 


5.000 


2.000 


0.500 


0.800 


25.000 


0.100 


1.000 


3 


8.000 


2.000 


1.500 


1.500 


2.000 


1.500 


1.500 


8.000 


7 


20.000 


0.800 


10.000 


10.000 


2.000 


1.500 


20.000 


7.000 


33 


10.000 


0.100 


7.000 


0.200 


0.100 


0.100 


4.000 


7.000 


37 


20.000 


0.800 


10.000 


2.000 


10.000 


1.000 


8.000 


5.000 


38 


12.000 


— 


— 


0.800 


0.800 


— 


0.400 


— 


39 


2.000 


— 


— 


0.800 


0.300 


— 


0.400 


— 


40 


1.250 


— 


— 


0.400 


0.600 


— 


0.800 





41 


1.500 


— 


— 





0.250 


— 


0.800 





43 


2.000 


— 


— 


1.200 


0.500 


— 


0.800 


— 



As some stopcocks may be of copper, a suite of experiments 
was made to ascertain the effect of this union. 



Table XI. 

Experiments with Lead and Copper. 

A bar of lead and copper nail three fourths of an inch long. Lead 
solder. 



Days. 


Distilled Water. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


1 


5.000 


0.500 


0.500 


0.100 


3 


1.500 


8.000 


0.150 


0.500 


7 


20.000 


2.500 


1.000 


1.000 


14 


25.000 


7.000 


1.000 


1.000 


39 


10.000 


1.000 


1.000 


1.000 


40 


1500 


1.000 


1.000 


0.250 


44 


1.200 


0.500 


0.500 


1.500 


45 


2.000 


0.200 


0.300 


2.000 


46 


5.000 


0.800 


0.800 


3.000 


47 


3.000 


0.050 


0.020 


1.500 


49 


2.300 


0.010 


0.800 


2.000 



The effect of the contact of lead with tin, all the external circum- 
stances being the same, is exhibited in the following table. 



///- 



15 

Table XII. 
Experiments with Lead and Tin. 
A half-bar of each soldered without alloy. Volume of water as 
before mentioned. 



Days. 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. 


Cambridge. 


Cochituate. 1 Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 


1 


40.000 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


8 


60.000 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.200 


0.500 


0.800 


0.500 


32 


50.000 


1.500 


4.000 


0.500 


0.100 


1.500 


2.000 


— 


36 


12000 


— 


— 


0.050 


0.050 


— 


1.500 


— 


38 


1.500 


— 


— 


0.500 


1.500 


— 


3.000 


— 


39 


2.000 


— 


— 


0.500 


0.300 


— 


0.400 


— 


40 


0.500 


— 


— 


0.500 


0.500 


— 


0.700 1 — 


41 


2.000 





— 


0.010 


0.010 


— 


0.010 — 


43 


3.000 


— 


— 


0.010 


0.020 


— 


0.700 — 



Variation in some of the properties of the Cochituate water might 
be expected to take place. First, in the percentage of organic matter. 
Second, in temperature. Third, in percentage of salts. 

The effect of increasing the percentage of organic matter is ex- 
hibited in the following table. 

Table XIII. 

Experiments with Lead in graduated Solutions of Organic Matter 

(Tannin) in Cochituate Water. 









Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


, 










1 


1 ^ 


Distilled 




Cochituate. 


TTJTT 


TUUTT 


njsijTy 


i^TT(JTTo 


Water. 






of Tannin. 


of Tannin. 


of Tannin. 


of Tannin. 




3 


1.000 


0.800 


0.400 


0.600 


0.600 


5.000 


5 


0.000 


20.000* 


0.500 


0.250 


0.250 


20.000 


6 


0.500 


2.000 


0.500 


0.100 


0.100 


4.000 


7 


0.000 


2.000 


0.200 


0.000 


0.000 


3.000 


8 


0.050 


0.500 


0.100 


0000 


0.000 


2.500 


10 
11 


0.000 


0.500 


0.000 


0.000 


0.100 


3.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


2.000 


12 
13 


0.100 


0.000 


o.ooo 


0.000 


0.000 


3.000 


0.050 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


2.000 



The bars of the third and fourth columns became more or less 
coated with a loose reddish-brown coat of organic matter and lead. 
The influence of increased organic matter of this form (which is as 

• A kind of fungous or flocculent mass fell with the lead, augmenting the vol- 
ume of the precipitate. 



16 

nearly allied to the vegetable matters that might be expected to occur 
in lake water as could be readily found) was to lessen the action on 
lead. The organic matters of lake and river waters consist of living 
and deceased organisms, animal and vegetable, and of soluble substan- 
ces derived from decaying vegetation. When exposed a sufficient 
length of time, these matters become thoroughly inorganic. The car- 
bon becomes carbonic acid, and the hydrogen becomes water, by the 
consumption of oxygen in solution in the water. 

My experiments have shown, that, if the quantity of organic mat- 
ter, such as the extract of bark, be more than TTT r/inj- °f tne weight of 
the water, precipitates of the organic matter in combination with oxide 
of lead, if any is in solution, will take place. This is one of the meth- 
ods frequently resorted to for separating organic bodies from solutions.* 

The effect of temperature was sought in a variety of ways.f The 
following experiments are recorded. 

Table XIV. 

Experiments with Bars previously coated, exposed to direct Sunlight 
from the 21st to the 26th of June. 
Bars resting on the bottom of the tubes. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Jamaica. 


Distilled Water. 


1 

2 
3 
4 


0.100 
0.250 
0.100 
0.050 


0.200 
1.500 
0.400 
1.000 


3.000 
2.000 
2.000 
1.500 


3.000 
2.000 
1.000 
2.000 



The influence of extreme temperature and exposure to air and 
moisture, under the most favorable circumstances, was ascertained by 
transmitting steam mixed with air through a leaden pipe thirty-six feet 
long, coiled like a still-worm, and placed in cold water to produce con- 
densation. 

One hundred and ten cubic centimetres of the condensed water, 
after acidulation with acetic acid, were treated with a stream of hydro- 



* This precipitate is visible in Croton service-pipes five years in use. It occurs 
in the Jamaica service-pipes in Boston, and, I have been informed, in those of 
Fairmount water in Philadelphia. 

t Dr. Hayes has observed that elevation of temperature increases the quantity 
of lead dissolved in a given time. — Report of Consulting Physicians, 1848, p. 24. 



/fjr 



17 

sulphuric acid. The precipitate was collected on a filter, previously- 
dried at 100° C, and gave 0.0225gr. of sulphide of lead, equal to 
0.0l9Ggr. of lead, which is equivalent to 0.8095gr. of lead in a gallon. 

Whatever influence might result from such changes, it must be 
remembered that pipes under ground will preserve a tolerably even 
temperature ; and be the effect of increased heat what it may, it has 
been more energetic in Philadelphia than it ever can be in Boston. 

The effect of increasing the percentage of common salt is exhibit- 
ed in the following table. 

Table XV. 

Experiments with Cochituate Water and graduated Solutions of 

Common Salt. 
Bars and volumes as in the foregoing experiments. No concen- 
tration. Bars resting on the bottom of the tubes. 







Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 




Pure 


I 
Ttfl) 


There- 


TotfiKT 


TTTTJcTffTT 


Days. 


Cochituate. 


of Chloride of 


of Chloride of 


of Chloride of 


of Chloride of 






Sodium. 


Sodium. 


Sodium. 


Solium). 


1 


2.00 


.20 


.30 


1.60 


2.00 


2 


1.80 


.10 


.15 


.60 


1.20 


3 


.20 


.10 


.08 


.08 


.30 


8 


.30 


2.50 


1.20 


.30 


.50 



These results show, — 

1st. The immediate effect of the salt in preventing the action on 
lead by lessening the solvent power for air ; and 

2d The influence of salt in dissolving the coat formed, by double 
decomposition, or by the formation of the double salt of the oxide and 
chloride ; as shown in the last suite of results. 

The preceding experiments, as a whole, go to show that Cochituate 
water may be distributed through iron mains and leaden service-pipes 
with as little danger as Schuylkill, Croton, or Jamaica water. 

The consideration that was to give value to these determinations 
was that of the health of the citizens of Philadelphia, New York, and 
Boston so far as it might be influenced by the waters served through 
lead in the respective cities. This was to be decided, as already in- 
timated by an appeal to the most enlightened testimony that could be 
furnished ; that of eminent physicians of extensive practice in the 
localities where lead pipe is employed. 
3 



It 



18 

The following summary of opinions is chiefly compiled from the 
letters addressed to me, and published in the Appendix to the Water- 
Commissioners' Report of August 14th, 1848. They refer not only to 
the waters above mentioned, but to several other similar waters, and to 
some spring waters. 

' In regard to the New York water-works, which have for several 
years supplied many thousands of families, Dr. Griscom, in a letter to 
Dr. Webster, dated Dec. 14, 1847, and appended to the Report of the 
Consulting Physicians, says, " Nothing hut lead pipe is now used in this 
city for the conveyance of water into, and within, the residences of the 
citizens.'''' 

' He states also, that, during the period of five or six years in which 
the Croton water has been used by a population of nearly 400,000 
persons, he has had no knowledge of any evil consequences which 
could be attributed to the use of the lead pipe. He states, in addition, 
that he laid Dr. Webster's inquiry before " the Academy of Medicine, 
the largest professional body " in the city, and requested that, " if any 
gentleman had ever known or heard of any evil results from the use of 
lead pipes," he would communicate the facts. "No intimation of such 
results was offered," and a negative answer had been also given by 
several of the practitioners in the city, with whom the writer had per- 
sonally conferred 

' The water-works of the city of Philadelphia have been in suc- 
cessful operation for more than twenty-five years, and they have af- 
forded a wide field of experience, which has been of great value to the 
directors of other similar works B. H. Coates, M. D., physi- 
cian to the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, after remarking that, 
in twelve years' service in the Hospital, he had not known any case of 
disease from the poison of lead, not distinctly traceable to some other 
source than the use of water drawn from leaden pipes, adds, — " We 
certainly feel ourselves quite safe in the employment of the water 
from Fairmount, and no case of lead disease from this cause is ever 
heard of." 

' Professor Dunglison, of Jefferson Medical College, Pennsylvania, 
says, — "I have never witnessed the slightest effect from the use of the 
waters of the Schuylkill,.conveyed in leaden service-pipes, which could 
lead me to suppose that there was any injurious impregnation." He 
quotes the remark of Professor Hare, that he had used the Schuylkill 
water conveyed in leaden pipes, in his laboratory in the University, for 



/ff 



19 

more than twenty-five years, and had never perceived the slightest in- 
dication of the presence of the metal in it. Professor Dunglison adds, 
— " The results of all my observations in Philadelphia and elsewhere 
would lead me to express very confidently the belief, that leaden ser- 
vice-pipes, constantly filled, as they necessarily are, are entirely in- 
nocuous." ' 

In furtherance of this investigation, ' the Board of Consulting 
Physicians caused inquiries to be made in more than a hundred fami- 
lies, residing in Washington, Tremont, Pleasant, Warren, Essex, Har- 
rison, Kneeland, Edinburgh, Oxford, Beach, Tyler, Hudson, South, 
Sea, Purchase, Summer, Atkinson, Charles, Cambridge, North Russell, 
Lowell, and other streets, who have used the water of Jamaica Pond 
drawn from leaden pipes, as common drink, for periods of from two to 
twenty years ; and in no instance has any of the specific diseases at- 
tributable to lead been remembered to have existed in these families.' * 
' In Baltimore, the distribution of water through leaden pipes is not 
found to be injurious to health. Dr. Aiken says, — " No case of lead 
poisoning has come to my knowledge, during a residence of thirteen 
years in Baltimore, arising from the use of our hydrant water. The 
lead pipes seem to answer the purpose very perfectly and very safely." 
' Dr. McNaughton, of Albany, where leaden pipes are partially 
used for the distribution of water, states that his own family have, for 
a period of sixteen years, freely used, for all purposes, water intro- 
duced to his house, a distance of at least one hundred and seventy-five 
feet, through a leaden pipe, and they have never had, in that time, a 
case of lead or other colic. He has known no case of lead poisoning 
from the use of the Albany water-works, and he has been informed, 
on inquiry of some of the oldest physicians of the city, that they know 

of no such case. 

' Dr. Brinsmade, of Troy, N. Y., where nearly all the pipes for 
the distribution of the water supplied by the city water-works about 
the yards and buildings are of lead, states that the water is used by 
nearly all the inhabitants for culinary purposes and for drink ; and 
that in a large practice in the city, for the last fifteen years, he has 
never seen a case in which he suspected poisoning from lead, caused 
by the use of water passing through leaden pipes. A similar statement 
made to Dr. Brinsmade by several of the most intelligent and 



was 



Report of Consulting Physicians to the City of Boston, April 12, L848. 



20 

experienced physicians of the city, and by the Superintendent of the 
Water- Works. 

' Professor Hubbard, of Dartmouth College, where the inhabitants 
of the village have been supplied, for a period of twenty-six years, with 
water conveyed nearly two miles through a leaden pipe, and distributed 
through pipes of the same material, states, as the result of his own ob- 
servation, and that of Professor Crosby for ten years, Professor Muzzy 
for sixteen years, and Professor Peaslee for eight years, that they have 
had no knowledge of lead poisoning, or disease of any sort, from the 
use of the water, and they speak highly of the healthfulness of the 
village 

' In the village of New Boston, in the town of Lancaster, about 
two hundred inhabitants are supplied with water, conveyed through 
leaden pipes extending one and a half miles. Dr. Lincoln, who has 
been engaged in medical practice there more than twelve years, has 
known no disease which can be ascribed to the use of the water. No 
action of the water is perceptible upon the internal surface of the pipe, 
but the pipe is in many places much corroded externally, where laid 
down near stables and other buildings. 

' The water of the London water-works is distributed from the 
houses in leaden pipes, and is usually preserved for use in tanks lined 
with lead, and without complaint of any injurious effects from the met- 
al. On this subject, Professor Graham, of University College, London, 
in reply to an inquiry, says, — " The point has been settled here by 
long experience. Lead alone is used to conduct the water from the 
street main into the houses, or for service-pipes. No evil is experi- 
enced in London, either from these pipes, or the leaden cisterns. Yet, 
as the latter are filled in general only twice a week, the water must 
remain in them for several days." 

' Leaden pipes are extensively used in Paris for the distribution of 
the water of the Seine and the Ourq to the places of delivery for the 
supply of families, without injury to health. M. Tanquerel, in his 
elaborate treatise on lead diseases, lately republished in this country 
by Dr. Dana, discovered no indications of those diseases among the 
citizens of Paris, from drinking water supplied through leaden pipes.' 

The decision of this question does not depend upon the presence or 
absence of a minute quantity of lead in water that has been ^tandino- 
a given length of time in leaden pipes, or upon the absolute freedom 



21 



from corrosion of pipes long in use. For if a certain quantity, more 
or less, has found its way into the human system in the every-day 
regular use of Croton and Schuylkill waters, then must the human 
system be capable of sustaining without injury this quantity ; and the 
possibility of receiving an equal quantity hereafter by those who drink 
Cochituate water may be" contemplated without solicitude, since the 
experiment has been made.* Nevertheless, examinations for lead have 
been made in many well-waters, and in Croton, Jamaica, Schuylkill, 
and Troy waters, and Dedham spring water. The results follow. 

Table XVI. 

Determinations of Lead in Well-waters served through Leaden Pipes 
in Cambridge. 





Volume. 


Hours Exposed. 


Reduced Volume. 


Sulphide (if Lead. 


a 


lOOcc. 


36 


lOcc. 


0.000 


ct 


200 


36 


10 


0.000 


u 


300 


36 


10 


0.000 


b 


500 


12 


16 


0.000 


C 


100 


12 


10 


Precipitate. 


14 


50 


12 


10 


u 


ic 


40 


12 


10 


it 


u 


30 . 


12 


10 


0.000 




gallon 
500cc. 


12 


10 


0.100 


d 


12 


5 


0.000 


e 


100 


12 


5 


Precipitate. 




gallon 


12 




0.080 


f 


300cc. 


12 


5 


Precipitate. 


gallon 
500cc. 


12 




0.0004 


g 
h 


12 


20 


0.000 


200 


36 


5 


0.00005 




gallon 






0.00113 


% 


^300cc. 


12 


10 


0.0009 




gallon 






0.0136 



Well in Boston. — 200cc, first drawn in the morning, gave, when 
concentrated to Sec., 0.00003gr. = 0.00068gr. in a gallon. Dr. 
Charles T. Jackson has detected lead in a well-water in Waltham. 

Well in Dedham. — lOOcc. water standing over night in the pipe 
serving from the reservoir supplied by a forcing-pump, concentrated to 
5cc, gave a trace of lead. 

Water supplied from the spring in Dedham, which is known to 

* To this point more particular reference will hereafter be made. 



22 

have corroded leaden pipes, and poisoned at least one-individual. — 
lOOcc, at rest twelve hours in leaden pipe several years in use, gave 
0.00003gr. =0.0013gr. in a gallon. Several years since, my friend, 
Dr. Webster, examined some of this water from the pipes of the gen- 
tleman who was made ill, and detected lead, without concentration, by 
treatment with sulphide of ammonium.* This branch pipe was 150 
feet in length. The main pipe, two inches in diameter, is about three 
quarters of a mile long. This pipe must be capable of holding a gallon 
in a little more than seven and one third feet, or 540 gallons in its whole 
length. Thus, the entire morning draught of spring water of each 
family had ordinarily been at rest twelve hours in the main and lateral 
pipes. In some instances it had doubtless been longer at rest ; and 
yet, so far as I have been informed, but one well-established case of 
lead disease is known to have occurred from the use of this water. 



Bottles 
1. 

2. 
3. 

4. 
5. 

6. 

7. 



Table XVII. 
Determinations of Lead in the Croton Water of New York. 

Drawn, after thirty-six hours' exposure, from leaden pipes, at 
seven different localities, in the neighbourhood of John Street. 

Volume. Volume. 

500cc. reduced to lOcc. gave, of Sulphide of Lead, 00 

00 
00 
00 
00 
00 
trace. 

lOOOcc. derived from bottles 1,2, and 3, concentrated to 10cc.,gave, 
with hydrosulphuric acid, a precipitate which, ignited with saltpetre 
and redissolved, gave, with bichromate of potassa and hydrosulphuric 
acid, distinct precipitates of lead. The whole quantity equalled about 
O.OOOlgr., or for a gallon 0.00045gr. 

Determination of Lead in the Schuylkill Water of Philadelphia. 
According to Professor Booth, 100 apothecaries' ounces, after ex- 
posure 36 hours in leaden pipe, a year and a half in use, concentrated 

* Such was the quantity of lead in solution, that a white film (of carbonate and 
hydrate of lead) rose to the surface of this water, after being drawn a short time. 



^»J 



23 



to the bulk of half an ounce, gave not the slightest discoloration after 
transmitting hydrosulphuric acid through it for an hour. 

Troy Reservoir Water. 

2000cc, 24 hours at rest in leaden pipes several years in use, 

gave, when concentrated to one hundredth of its volume, no trace of 

lead. 

Table XVIII. 

Determinations of Lead in Jamaica Water served through leaden 

Pipes in the City of Boston. 

. , , 01 Exposed to Gave of Sulphide 

April 13th. the Lr.nl. of Lead. 

No. 6 Hudson Street, 200cc, 12 hours, reduced to 20cc. 00 
No. 10 " " " " " " 00 

No. 98 " " " " " " 00 

No. 800 Washington Street, " " " " 00 

No. 10 Tyler Street, " " " " 00 

April 13th. Worcester Railroad Depot, lOOOcc, exposed to the 
lead 36 hours, reduced to 20cc. gave, of sulphide of lead, OOgr. 

June 19th. Worcester Railroad Depot, 500cc, exposed to the 
lead 36 hours, reduced to5cc, gave, of sulphide of lead, 0.00002gr.* 
=: 0.00018gr. in a gallon. 

The magnitude of this quantity, and the influence its known pres- 
ence in a water should have, may be over-estimated. 

500 cubic centimetres contain 0.00002gr. 
1000 " " " 0.00004gr. 

Wiesbaden water contains of arsenious acid, in lOOOcc, 0.00045gr.,+ 

a quantity more than ten times as great as the lead in Jamaica water, 

— and yet this water is renowned for its medicinal virtues. It may be 
said, that the arsenic is in combination with oxide of iron. Chevallier 
and Gobley have come to the conclusion, that its occurrence in springs 
is not dependent upon the presence of iron.* It is found in water 
whose character is determined by the presence of carbonic acid or 
sulphates. This body occurs in solution in waters from nine mineral 
springs in France. Its occurrence in Germany has been recognized, 
among others, by Will.§ Tripier found it in Algiers. 

* Precipitate ignited, redissolved, and re-precipitated, 
t Compt. Rend., Tom. XXIII, pp. 612-615,634,635. 
" t Journ. de Ph. et dc Ch., 3 Ser, Tom. XIII, pp. 324 - 333. 
S Ann. der Chem. und Pharm., LXI, pp. 192-204. 



N^ 



24 

The appearance of leaden pipes taken up after several years 
use, in New York, is what might have been expected. I have exam- 
ined twelve pieces from as many different localities. Most of the 
specimens that had been in use for only one and two years were cov- 
ered with a bluish-gray coat, and some of them could scarcely be 
distinguished from ordinary pipe for sale in the shops. A speci- 
men in use five years is coated with a transparent, exceedingly thin, 
reddish-brown film, apparently composed of organic matter, oxide of 
lead, and oxide of iron. The crystalline laminae upon the inner sur- 
face, characteristic of new pipe, are to be seen with the utmost distinct- 
ness, and present, with the exception of the coating, no appearance 
distinguishing it from new pipe. 

Jamaica pipe, in use from fifteen to twenty years, is coated with a 
thick, reddish coat, which, when dry, may be readily disengaged, and 
in one specimen examined shows traces of slight corrosion beneath. 
The corrosion from without was such as to have nearly eaten through 
in some places. The lead of this pipe contained great proportions of 
antimony where corrosion occurred, but no sulphide of lead, which, I 
am informed, occurs in much lead pipe. 

Pipe employed to conduct Dedham sprirfg water is internally cor- 
roded, and presents at intervals deep depressions, the result of more 
extreme local action. Pipe of one well in Cambridge is appreciably 
corroded. Pipe of wells in Boston is frequently consumed in peri- 
ods of from six to eighteen months. 

The above results and observations show, that, — 
1st. Many well-waters, in a space of time comparatively short, act 
on lead. This has been fully established by the researches of Dr. 
Dana* in this country, and by observations in England. 

2d. That, except after longer exposure than will ordinarily occur 
in actual use, the amount of lead coming into solution in Croton, 
Schuylkill, or Jamaica waters is too small to occasion any solicitude. 

Hence it may be inferred from the above, and from the great sim- 
ilarity of Cochituate to Jamaica, Croton, and Schuylkill waters, in its 
relations to lead, that the quantity of lead that will he dissolved in 
Cochituate ivater in actual service will, for all practical purposes, be 
of no moment. 

Method of determining small Quantities of Lead. 
The recognition and quantitative determination of very minute 

* Appendix to Tanquerel, by Dana. 



25 

quantities are not always without difficulty ; where many and rapid 
determinations are required, the processes of gathering upon a filter, 
washing, drying, igniting, and weighing consume far too much time, 
and are sometimes less accurate than other and more indirect methods. 

That which I have employed is based upon the mode of analyzing 
silver coin proposed by Gay-Lussac,* and adopted quite universally at 
mints. The same general method has been extended by Gay-Lussac 
to ascertain the strength of alkalies and bleaching-powder. It is em- 
ployed with protosulphate of iron and subchloride of mercury for the 
latter purpose. It is the method of graduated solutions. 

A gramme of lead in the form of the acetate (common sugar 
of lead), which contains three atoms of water, is dissolved in 100 
grammes or parts of distilled water. This constitutes solution No. 1. 

Ten parts of this solution are diluted with 90 parts of water to 
make solution No. 2. 

Ten parts of solution No. 2, diluted with 90 parts of water, make 
solution No. 3. 

In the same manner solutions No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6 are prepared. 

Ten parts of each solution are placed in corresponding test-tubes 
(about six inches long, five eighths of an inch wide, and closed at one 
end), and hydrosulphuric acid transmitted through them till the liquid, 
first blackened by the formation of sulphide of lead, becomes clear. 

Test-tube No. 1 contains one tenth of a gramme of lead in the 
form of sulphide, — a black powder at the bottom. 

Test-tube No. 2 contains one hundredth of a gramme. 

No. 3, one thousandth. 

No. 4, one ten-thousandth. 

No. 5, one hundred-thousandth. 

No. 6 yielded no precipitate without concentration. 

Each succeeding precipitate in the series, setting aside a slight 
allowance to be made on account of solubility, was one tenth as volu- 
minous as the one above. 

Having prepared this scale of quantities, it is required to determine 
the amount of lead in a given diluted solution. An experiment is made 
to ascertain if the quantity be large enough to give a direct precipitate 
with sulphide of ammonium. This being decided in the negative, fifty 
cubic centimetres or grammes of water (corresponding with fifty parts 
of the scale of solutions) are carefully evaporated to dryness and ignit- 

* Jnnalcs de Clicmie et de Physique. 
4 



% . 



26 

ed in a small porcellain capsule, to expel any organic matter that may- 
have been present, moistened with nitric acid, and then warmed, with 
the addition of acetic acid and water, till the volume becomes ten cubic 
centimetres. A drop of acetate of potassa is then added, and then hy- 
drosulphuric acid gas transmitted through the solution. 

A precipitate results, or it does not. If it does, to know its value 
or the amount of lead it contains, the scale is resorted to. Though it 
might rarely be possible to identify it with either one of two precip- 
itates in the scale, there could be no difficulty in deciding between 
which two it should fall, or nearest to which one of two it should be 
placed. 

If fifty cubic centimetres thus treated yielded no precipitate, one 
hundred cubic centimetres were evaporated to dryness, and the residue 
similarly treated. If this failed, five hundred cubic centimetres were 
taken, and in some instances more, and the same course pursued. 

It was natural to suppose that the presence of foreign bodies, such 
as occur in natural waters, might embarrass the precipitation. This 
led to the preparation of a series of graduated solutions of lead, with 
all the common salts occurring in waters, from the reagents in my lab- 
oratory. They were similarly treated with acetate of potassa, free 
acetic acid, and a stream of hydrosulphuric acid, and though it was 
possible to see differences in the amounts of the precipitates, they fell 
very greatly within the differences between the successive members of 
the graduated series. 

The precipitates in the experiments with bars of lead, the results of 
which are given in the preceding tables, were estimated from this scale. 
They were, however, not ignited and redissolved, as in the examination 
of waters exposed in lead pipe, and the numbers were intended, as al- 
ready remarked, to express only relative values. 

Influence of Nitrates. 

Although medical testimony and public sentiment were conclusive 
upon the subject of the health of our larger cities, so far as it mio-ht be 
influenced by the lead contained in the reservoir-waters used for culi- 
nary and general purposes, it was equally certain that individuals had 
been poisoned from drinking the waters of wells, and in one case at 
least, from drinking water from a spring. 

It was obvious, therefore, that between these two classes, river 
lake, pond, and open reservoir waters on the one hand, and well and 
some spring waters on the other, there must be differences in their re- 
lations to lead. 



2of 



27 

Experiments were made with well-water, and at the same time 
with the river and lake waters in my possession. The following result 
shows with what success. 

Table XIX. 



Days. 


Well-water. 


Cocliituate. 


Fainiiount. 


3 


1.00 


1.00 


.15 


5 


.20 


.00 


.60 


6 


.30 


.50 


.00 


7 


.10 


.00 


.00 


8 


.00 


.05 


.00 


10 


.50 


.00 


.00 


11 


.00 


.00 


.00 



The bars rested on the bottoms of the tubes, and the waters had 
been some time standing in sunlight. These experiments threw little 
light upon the subject. The differences in favor of the Cochituate and 
Fairmount, as compared with a well-water known to act vigorously on 
lead pipe, were too inconsiderable to be worthy of notice. These wa- 
ters contained in 500cc. 

Of Solid Residue. Of Organic Matter. Of Inorganic Matter. 

Well water, 0.1380gr. 0.0540gr. 0.0840gr. 

Cochituate, 0.0267 0.0122 0.0145 

Fairmount, 0.3007 0.1032 0.1975 

On comparing these, it will be seen that the water which con- 
tained the most solid residue acted least on lead, and that the action of 
that which contained least solid residue was next in order. 

The comparison of the analyses of waters made by different indi- 
viduals led to no satisfactory results. Ingredients that might have 
been presumed to be in all had in some cases not been recognized. 
The only large suite of analyses made by a single individual first fell 
under my eye in the early part of June of 1848. In the following ta- 
ble are compared the average total amounts of inorganic matters, and 
also the relative amounts of the more prominent salts, in three wells, 
six springs, and six rivers, as determined by Deville.* 



Wells, 

Springs, 

Rivers, 



Total. 

6455 
3344 

1949 



Nitrates. 



1701 

86 
65 



Chlorides. 



650 

77 
38 



Sulphates. 

1394 
365 
157 



Carbonates 



2291 
2336 
1185 



• Ann. dc am. ct dc Phys., 3- Sen,, Tom. XXIII. pp. 33-47. 



28 

The compounds of sulphuric and carbonic acids with oxide of lead 
are eminently insoluble. The chlorides are less insoluble, and the 
nitrates are highly soluble.* The contrast between the quantities of ni- 
trates in well and river waters suggested the experiment with lead and 
graduated solutions of saltpetre. f The results follow. 

Table XX. 







Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Cochituate and 


Days. 


Pure Cochituate. 


TTTtrzy 

of Saltpetre. 


TtnrTnr 

of Saltpetre. 


T?nnT?nr 

of Saltpetre. 


TTJVTJWTJ 
of Saltpetre. 


1 

2 
3 
4 
5 

6 

7 
8 
9 


1.00 


1.00 


2.25 


0.75 


0.50 


0.00 
0.50 
0.00 
0.05 


2.00 
2.00 
2.50 
2.50 


1.00 
0.25 
1.00 
0.50 


0.50 
0.10 
0.30 
0.30 


0.10 

0.10 
0.20 
0.00 


0.00 
0.00 


2.00 
1.80 


0.80 
0.70 


0.05 
0.00 


0.00 
0.00 



Table XXI. 



Days. 


Pure Fairmount. 


Fairmount and 

1 

TTJTTTT 

of Saltpetre. 


Fairmount and 

T0~7X0~O 

of Saltpetre. 


Fairmount and 
l 

of Saltpetre. 


Fairmount and 

l 
Tonr^urJo" 
of Saltpetre. 


1 

2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 


0.15 

0.60 
0.00 
0.00 
0.00 

0.00 
0.00 
0.00 
0.00 


1.00 

3.00 
1.80 
2.25 
1.80 

2.50 
1.80 
1.80 
1.20 


0.80 

1.25 
0.50 
1.50 
0.80 

0.80 
0.80 
0.80 
0.80 


0.80 

0.25 
0.00 
0.40 
0.05 

0.20 
0.20 
0.20 
0.00 


0.80 

0.20 
0.00 
0.10 
0.00 

0.05 
0.00 
0.10 
0.00 



* Sulphate of lead is soluble in not less than 15000 parts of water. Gmelin. 

Carbonate of lead requires 50551 parts of water. Fresenius, Jinn, der Chem. vnd 
Phar., LIX., S. 117-128. — Chloride of lead requires 135 parts of pure water 534 
of water containing chloride of calcium, and 1636 of water containing hydrochloric 
acid. Bischof. — Nitrate of lead dissolves in 1.989 parts of water at 63° Fahr. 
Karsten. — A solution of saltpetre containing 39 parts to 100 of water will still 
dissolve 110 parts of nitrate of lead. — Gmelin. 

] O'Henry found nitrates in mineral spring- water in 1839. — Journ. de Pharm 
Dec, 1833, pp. 634-637. 

Liebig found nitrates in twelve wells in Giessen, and none in the wells of the 
surrounding country, by experiments made in 1827. " This fact has been noticed 



Zc 



29 



The mode of action of the saltpetre has been the subject of experi- 
ment. I had previously exposed bright bars of lead to natural waters 
containing traces of nitrates, which were deprived of air and sealed in 
glass flasks Months had produced no action upon the lead, and had 
conducted to the opinion, that lead was not acted upon by nitrates in 
natural waters. 

As the reaction of the Cochituate or Fairmount water was per- 
fectly neutral, the decomposition of the saltpetre by free acid, which 
should expose the lead to uncombined nitric acid, was not possible. 

Fresenius had observed that the carbonate of lead was less soluble 
in water containing nitrate of ammonia and ammonia than in pure wa- 
ter. I was aware that alkaline chlorides promoted the solution of cer- 
tain lead compounds, and it occurred to me that they might be more 
soluble in waters from the presence of nitrate of potassa, soda, or hme. 
In changing the waters, from day to day, exposure to the air would 
furnish the oxygen and carbonic acid more directly than the absorption 
from the surface, for the formation of the hydrated oxide and carbon- 
ate, and these might to a slight extent, it seemed possible, experience 
decomposition with the saltpetre. 

The decision of this point rested upon the following experiments. 
1. A solution of saltpetre, the usual laboratory reagent, was pour- 
ed upon a quantity of common white lead, and, after repeated agitation 
and alternate rest, filtered off and tesfed with hydrosulphuric acid for 
lead. There followed an instantaneous, distinct, though not large, pre- 
cipitate of sulphide of lead. 

There was an objection to the experiment. White lead prepared 
from the acetate might not be altogether free from acetate of lead. 
This, if present, might be brought into solution by the nitrate of potassa. 
2 To settle this point, a portion was carefully ignited upon plati- 
num Had there been appreciable acetic acid, the mass would have 
more or less blackened, or would have revealed to the sense of smell 
some evidence of its presence. It gave no indication whatever. 

by Bcrzclius in Europe. I," says Dr. Dana, « have confirmed it in the water of 
a ere at number of wells in Lowell." - Appendix to Tanguerel, p. 36/. 

rtvton Morveau, most of whose labors belong to the last century, mentions 

it' , e is one of the salts denominated by him protecting in its influence on 
1 uL pipes, when seeking to find the value as protectors of the different salts oc- 
curring in natural waters. _ Chkistisoh. ,,,-,-,. ,- 

I)r Dana has ascribed a prominent place to nitrates and chlorides in the action 
of well-water, upon lead. - Appendix to Tanquerd. 

Experiments with graduated solutions of common salt were made, bee p. 17. 



30 

3. A quantity of the white lead was then treated with sulphuric 
acid and alcohol in a test-tube, in the usual manner for detecting acetic 
acid by the formation of acetic ether. This failed to give a trace of 
acetic acid. The quantity of white lead was small. 

4. Four ounces of white lead were then boiled three hours with a 
large measure of diluted soda, filtered, concentrated, and treated with 
sulphuric acid and alcohol as before. It yielded no distinct trace of 
acetic acid. 

5. To meet the question fully, and give to the experiment the ad- 
vantage of the nascent state which in actual practice must occur, and 
to give to the view an entirely unobjectionable foundation, I added to a 
solution of nitrate of lead, first, potassa, which threw down a hydrate 
of lead, and then carbonate of potassa, which threw down a carbonate 
of lead, until the solution yielded an alkaline reaction. There were 
then hydrate and carbonate of lead in the precipitate, and nitrate of 
potassa, carbonate of potassa, and if any lead, a nitrate of lead in so- 
lution. The liquor was filtered, and upon adding hydrosulphuric acid 
to the filtrate, I obtained a precipitate of the black sulphide, more 
voluminous than in the first experiment with white lead and a solution 
of saltpetre. 

6. Soda and carbonate of soda gave the same reaction. 

7. Nitrate of lime in solution gave the same reaction as nitrate of 
potassa. 

My attention has been drawn by a friend to the following sen- 
tence in Berzelius : — ' When nitrate of lime is boiled with carbonate 
of lead, the oxide of lead is dissolved, while the carbonate of lime is 
deposited.' * 

If with the aid of heat such decomposition results, it might be con- 
ceived that, favored by the nascent condition, quantity, and time, there 
might be to some small extent a corresponding decomposition. 

The first was the principal experiment bearing on this point made 
at the date of my last letter to the Water-Commissioners, and upon 
this experiment, and the known solubility of the nitrate, I ascribed the 
increased action of water consequent upon the addition of nitrates to 
a slight double decomposition. It had been ascribed by Dr. Danat to 

* ' Lorsqu'on fait boullir du nitrate calcique avec du carbonate plombique il se 

dissout de J'oxyde plombique tandis que le carbonate calcique reste.' Traite de 

Chemie, 1347, Tom. IV. p. 91. 

t Report of the Joint Special Committee of City of Lowell, Aug., 1842, pp. 8- 11. 



£// 



31 



the conversion of the protoxide of iron, in solution as protosulphate, in- 
to the peroxide, by which he conceived there would be free sulphuric 
acid, and therefore free nitric acid, in water containing protosulphate of 
iron and nitrates.* 

This explanation would not apply to the action of neutral waters, or 
of those containing no protosalts of iron, though nitrates were present. 
The whole subject has undergone a more thorough examination. 
The conclusion that nitrates are not reduced by lead I have found 
to be erroneous ; for experiment has shown that upon boiling a strong 
solution of nitrate of potash to expel the air, and introducing a bar of 
bright lead, it became immediately coated with suboxide of lead, and 
this without the evolution of gas. There had been a partial reduction 
of the nitric acid. Upon testing the solution with hydrosulphuric acid, 
it gave, after long digestion, but a faint discoloration. Upon pouring 
off the liquor and adding to it oxide of lead, and continuing the diges- 
tion, a large quantity of lead was dissolved, which in 66cc. gave of 
sulphide of lead 0.0106gr. = 0.7296gr. in a gallon. The solution re- 
acted strongly alkaline. 

As the only known inorganic salts of nitrous acid are its com- 
pounds with lead, it was probable that, upon the reduction of the nitric 
acid to nitrous acid, it had abandoned the potash to unite with the ox.de 
of lead, or a basic soluble salt had been formed, in which potash was 

present. . 

Upon examining the nitrate of potash employed as a reagent in 
the first experiment, and which had been purchased for this purpose 
because it was labelled pure, it was found to contain alkaline chlorides, 
_ a circumstance to which the lead in the first experiment might in 
part be ascribed. A repetition of it with pure nitrate of potash and the 
hydrate and carbonate of lead, prepared by exposing lead to distilled 
water in an open vessel, gave but a faint discoloration with hydrosul- 
phuric acid. I am inclined to ascribe to the reduct.on of the mtno acid 
much the greater part in the action of nitrates upon lead. 

* The change that takes place when a solution of eopperas is exposed to the * 

nt.,1- 4fFcO,So3)+20 = Fe 2 O 3 ,3SO3+Fe 2 O3,SO3. 
may be thus represen £ ■ J J£c . J ^ ^ ^^ rf ^ pre . 

Th. latter ^^^^ and *«„„,, is 2 Fe 2 3 , 8 3 + 3 H O. 
cpitate, according to i S i S2 - 189) gives it as 2 Fe, 3 + 3 So s + 

J'TZ^Z^in so.u'tion, which is probably what D, Dana would 
Lvc understood from the statement that the above decompose,, produces fru 
sulphuric acid. 



32 

Action of Air. 
The importance of air in order to the action of a water upon lead 
has been intimated in the results already recorded. The following ex- 
periments confirm the observations of Yorke, Bonsdorff, and others, 
and, more recently, of Dr. Hayes, as expressed in his Report to the 
Consulting Physicians.* 

1st experiment. — June 17th. An apparatus consisting of a half- 
gill flask, containing lead scrapings and Cochituate water, filled to half 
its depth, the lead all below the surface of the water, was connected 
by a tube, bent twice at right angles, with a vessel of mercury. The 
cork uniting the tube and the flask was carefully covered with sealing- 
wax. If, now, in the oxidation of the lead, oxygen should be withdrawn 
from the space above the water, mercury would rise to occupy its place. 
The mercury had risen, June 19th, three fourths of an inch ; July 1st, 
four inches ; July 22d, six inches ; and in August the mercury passed 
over into the flask. 

Another similar apparatus prepared on the 16th of May showed, 
on the 10th of August, mercury at a height of 6£ inches. 

2d experiment. — A flask of a half-gill capacity was filled to two 
thirds its depth with distilled water, and boiled five minutes. While 
hot, and without delay, bars of bright lead were added, and the flask 
filled from another flask containing distilled water that had been boil- 
ing an equal length of time. In this condition a nicely-fitting cork was 
adjusted to the neck, and expeditiously sealed, so as to prevent the ad- 
mission of air. 

Another flask was filled in the same manner with Cochituate water, 
and sealed. Both are in possession still. The bar in distilled water is 
quite as bright as when immersed, except around the end in contact 
with the glass, which has become a little coated. The bar in Cochit- 
uate water was bright for some months, but has at length become 
slightly dimmed in small patches, which may be attributed to the less 
complete expulsion of the air by boiling, or the less accurate stopping 
of the flask, though at the time the experiment was made both were re- 
garded as unobjectionable. 

The following experiment shows how much is due to a change of 
water. The bars in the Cochituate remained quite bright, and those in 
the other waters were but slightly coated. 

* Report of Consulting Physicians, Boston, 1848, p. 23. 



2/3 



33 

Two bars in 15cc. for thirteen consecutive days, without changing- 
the water, gave, in Cochituate, 0.500gr. ; Croton, 0.500gr. ; Fairmount, 
0.500gr. ; Jamaica, l.OOOgr. 

These experiments seemed to show that, without a renewal of the 
air, the action nearly or quite ceases after a short time. 

Professor Silliman, Jr., made a similar observation in his experi- 
ments with the various waters submitted to him for analysis by the 
Water Commissioners in 1845. He used a large volume of water, and 
yet the bar remained quite bright. There was no alternate exposure to 
water and air. 

Christison remarks, that, while certain waters might doubtless be 
kept with safety in leaden cisterns, the covers of the cisterns should 
not be of lead, but of wood, since the moisture condensing on them, 
furnishing, as he observes, purt water, would act on the lead, and the 
product falling would poison the water. The joint action of air and 
water is here presented under exceedingly favorable circumstances. 
The corrosion of cisterns along the line where air and water meet might 
be expected. 

It will be readily seen, from considering the important part air 
plays, how rain-water must act with great vigor upon lead. It contains 
air, and is surrounded by air, and, aside from temperature, could not 
be more favorably constituted for acting upon lead. 

The well-known prevalence of lead maladies in Amsterdam, while 
leaden roofs were in use, and the restoration of health on their replace- 
ment with tile, find here a ready explanation. 

Dr. Dana has recorded an experiment with rain-water, which fur- 
nishes a valuable confirmation of what is stated above.* 

In a series of experiments with lead pipe of considerable length, 
if an interval of half a minute, or even less, occurred between the 
emptying of the pipe and refilling, there was invariably found lead in 
the water. This has been observed on a large scale in the practical 
service of lead pipe. Where from any cause the pipes have been 
empty for a length of time and then filled, the first water drawn con- 
tains a very considerable quantity of lead. 

In the experiments of the preceding tables, the tubes intended to 
receive the bars were previously filled, and thus the transfer of the bar 
from one tube to another occupied scarcely a second of time. Even 

* Appendix to Tanqucrcl. 

5 



34 

this short period was doubtless adequate to provide for some of the ox- 
idation which the bar experienced.* 

Important as the office of air is, it is not adequate of itself to ox- 
idate lead. A bar of lead scraped bright and placed in a desiccator over 
sulphuric acid remained undimmed for weeks, — during the whole time 
of the experiment. 

Influence of Light and Organized Substances in Water. 

It is a familiar fact, that well-water recently drawn and exposed to 
the light and warmth a short time loses much of its air, and becomes 
insipid. Count Rumford has made this fact the foundation of an impor- 
tant investigation. His conclusions in relation to the joint effect of sun- 
light and solid, miscible but insoluble substances in expelling the air from 
waters, and thus showing a difference ^between lake, river, pond, and 
reservoir waters, which are exposed to sunlight, and well or spring 
waters, which are concealed from it, are of great importance in this 
connection .f 

I have made numerous experiments upon this subject, which, al- 
though still incomplete, taken in connection with the results of Count 
Rumford, go to establish the following positions : — 

1st. Well waters contain more air in solution than lake, river, and 
pond waters, as a class. 

2d. Sunlight and heat falling upon water containing solid insoluble 
substances, organic tissues, or pulverulent matter, expel a portion of 
the gases. 

3d. The germs of animalculae being present, oxygen will be given 

* I see, in the time between the emptying and filling of leaden pipes employed 
in experimenting, the explanation of much of the discrepancy between the results 
of different experimenters. If to this be added the unequal exposures to warmth 
and light which have been permitted by those engaged in experimenting, I am 
persuaded that most of the differences in results will be fully accounted for. 

t He exposed spring water, containing, in a series of experiments, weighed quan- 
tities of raw silk, poplar cotton, sheep's wool, eider-down, hare's fur, cotton-wool 
ravellings of linen, and Confervas (hair-weed), to the sun's rays, and observed the 
quantity of air disengaged by each substance. It amounted in some cases to one 
eighth of the volume of water. Philosophical Papers, by Benjamin, Count Rum- 
ford, London, 1802, Vol. I. pp. 218 - 263. 

The observations of Wohler in 1843 {Ann. der Chem. und Pharm., Bd. XLI. 
S. 121), and of Schultz in 1845 (Journ.fur Prakt. Chem., Bd. XXXIV., S. Gl -63 
1845), upon the evolution of oxygen from waters containing animalcule and 'green 
plants,' under the influence of sunlight, were confirmations of some of the experi- 
mental results of Count Rumford. 



IT 



35 



out and immediately expelled, until»the maximum of the solvent power 
for air by the given temperature be attained. 

4th. On the withdrawal of sunlight and the reduction of the tem- 
perature, the animalcule cease to evolve oxygen, and that which is in 
solution becomes the prey of the decaying organic matters present. 

5th. The hydrogen of organic bodies (as Liebig has remarked) ox- 
idates first. This position I have verified by a series of observations, to 
which I will here only refer. 

The following experiment may be mentioned in this connection. 
Two clear glass globes of about four and a half inches in diameter, 
filled with waters from two wells in Cambridge, in one of which, after 
rest of twelve hours in leaden pipe, lead was detected, and in the other 
of which, after equal exposure, no lead was recognized, were placed in 
a window of south-southeast exposure. Into each globe a skein of silk 
weighing 1.25gr. was introduced ; at the end of five days, the quantity 
of gas evolved was more than twice as great in that containing the well- 
water that acted on lead as in the other. No admeasurement of the 
quantity was attempted, for the following reason : I wished to know 
what would become of these gases, — the water containing organisms 
which must soon consume their supply of nutriment. In a period equal 
to the above, the gases were entirely absorbed, and after the lapse of a 
month, during which time there were several days of brilliant sunshine, 
no gases appeared. 

An isolated experiment of this description cannot have much value. 
But it seemed to me worth recording, as sustaining what Liebig has re- 
marked, that of the elements of organic bodies the hydrogen is more 
readily oxidated than the carbon, and as illustrating the decay of or- 
ganic bodies in water. 

Of the various popular reasons why lead should not be employed 
for distributing water, the following have been found not to be sustained 
by experiment or authority. 

1. The Galvanic Action of Iron and Lead. 
The effect of contact with iron, in most of its points of view, has 
, pn inV esti-ated. In diluted acids, bright, lead in contact with iron is 
'0*"^ coated lead, negative. Yokkk. - Diluted acid facilitates 
[ he solution of iron in contact with lead. Runge^- In strong nitric 
Id iron in connection with lead, is positive. Delakive. - In pot- 
aC h solution or lime-water, bright lead is positive to iron, but oxidated 



36 

or coated lead is negative. This is also true of these metals in a solu- 
tion of saltpetre. Yorke. — It is also true in a solution of salammo- 
niac. Wetzlar. 

Thus in acid, alkaline, and saline solutions, — all the conditions in 
which Cochituate water can occur, — iron, if not at first, will, after a 
short interval, be the metal at whose expense the galvanic action will 
be sustained. 

2. The Action of Iron-Rust. 

It was natural to suppose that the moist iron-rust flowing from the 
mains into the leaden pipes might, by reduction to a lower oxide, pro- 
mote the oxidation and solution of lead. 

Bars of lead in contact with hydrated peroxide of iron, in open 
tubes, containing Cochituate, Croton, Jamaica, Fairmount, Albany, and 
Troy water, arranged on the 15th of May, gave, when tested on the 
17th, 22d, and 27th of May, and 7th of June, with ferrocyanide of 
potassium, no indication of protoxide. 

The same water in which nails were immersed, tested from time 
to time, gave occasional evidence of the presence of protoxide of iron. 

I placed peroxide of iron and bright bars of lead in flasks of dis- 
tilled and Cochituate water, and sealed them, on the 7th of last June. 
The flasks are in my possession still, and though the air was expelled 
only so much as boiling five minutes would accomplish, the bars of 
lead are quite as undimmed as on the day they were sealed up. It is 
scarcely necessary to state that the iron rust, in actual service, does not 
come in contact with lead, but with the suboxide, or other coat.* 

3. The Solubility of the Suboxide of Lead. 
I have been unable to procure the slightest trace of lead in water 
deprived of its air, after long contact with the suboxide of lead. Mit- 
scherlich remarks of its insolubility.! 

4. The Action of Alkaline Chlorides upon Lead, in the Absence 
of Oxygen or Atmospheric Air. 

The following experiment was made and several times repeated 
by me with graduated solutions of common salt. 

* Reference has been made to the experiments of Napier upon this point. He 
made no experiments with peroxide of iron, but with neutral salts of the peroxide, 
and he states distinctly that lead exposed to them a little while became coated, 
and that action was thereafter arrested. — Load., Edinb., and Dubl. Philos. Ma<r. 
May, 1844, pp. 365-370. 

t Lehrbuch der Chcmie, 2te Band, S. 511. 



£/ 



V 



37 



A flask of one gill capacity, containing a quantity of lead shav- 
ings, presenting an extent of surface comparatively great, was one 
third filled with a solution of common salt. This flask was connected 
by a tube, bent twice at right angles, with a cup of mercury. The 
cork, tube, and neck, at the connections, were carefully covered with 
sealing-wax, that the flask might be air-tight. So arranged, the flask 
was slightly warmed ; the air thereby driven out was of course re- 
placed with quicksilver, the upper surface of which, after the original 
temperature had been reestablished, was marked. Now, if any decom- 
position of common salt occurred by the agency of lead, the chlorine 
would be freed from the sodium, the sodium would decompose the wa- 
ter, hydrogen would be set free, and the column of mercury depressed. 
Instead of any such result, the column of mercury regularly rose in ev- 
ery instance. An apparatus of this description, several months in ac- 
tion, is still preserved in my laboratory. 

It might still have been said, that, had the flask been deprived of 
air, the lead would have been acted on by the simple chloride. 

The experiment of lead and sea-water, in a flask deprived of air, 
has been made. The flask was sealed on the 25th of May last. The 
bar for a long time retained its perfect brightness, and is but very faint- 
ly dimmed at this late day, February 1, 1849. 

5. Action of Organic Matter. 
It has been conceived that organic matter might exert a deleterious 
influence. Experiments already recorded (p. 15) show that the pres- 
ence of organic matter increases the protecting power of water which 
is to be transmitted through lead. If the quantity exceed one ten-thou- 
sandth of the weight of the water, precipitates of oxide of lead, united 
to organic matter, take place. Orfila has remarked the precipitation of 
the coloring matter from Burgundy by neutralizing it with litharge.* 

Its influence in withdrawing the oxygen from solution has also 
been alluded to. In the important researches of Dr. Smith t upon the 
air and water of towns, it is mentioned that the presence of nitrates in 
the London water prevents the formation of organic matter, and that 
organic matter, in filtering through soils, becomes rapidly oxidated. 
Additional experiments faring upon this point are recorded farther on. 
Influence of Impurities in Water. 
It is a prevailing conviction, that the more impure a water is, or, in 

. Toxicologic Gtntralc, Vol. I. p. 616. 1 Proc. Brit. Ass. Jlthen., No. 1087. 



38 



general terms, the more salts it contains in solution, the less will be its 
action on lead. 

The influence of sulphate of magnesia (epsom salts) and chloride 
of sodium (common salt) in distilled water was the subject of experi- 
ment.* The action, it will be seen, was more vigorous in distilled than 
in the impure waters. 

Table XXII. 
Experiments with Lead and Graduated Solutions of Sulphate of 
Magnesia (Epsom Salt). 







Distilled Water and 


Distilled Water and 


Distilled Water and 


Days. 


Distilled Water. 


1 

.TTJ'O'tro" 
ofTEpsom Salt. 


1 

Tiroo"inr 

of Epsom Salt. 


To"Tro"o"Tnr 
of Epsom Salt. 


1 

3 










5.000 


2.500 


2.000 


1.750 


5 


20.000 


1.500 


2.000 


1.800 


6 


4.000 


2.500 


2.000 


1.800 


7 


3.000 


1.800 


2.000 


1.500 


8 


2.500 


2.500 


2.000 


0.800 


10 


3.000 


1.800 


3.000 


1.800 


11 


2.000 


1.500 


1.800 


1.500 


12 


3.000 


1.200 


2.000 


0.800 


13 


2.000 


1.200 


1.200 


0.800 



Table XXIII. 
Experiments with head and Graduated Solutions of Chloride of Sodium. 







Distilled Water and 


Distilled Water and 


Distilled Water and 


Days. 


Distilled Water. 


"nnjTTTy 


TrrTTffTny 


1 

To~0~<?o"iyo" 






of Salt. 


of Salt. 


of Salt. 


1 

3 










5.000 


2.500 


2.000 


1.500 


5 


20.000 


1.800 


2.500 


2.000 


6 


4.000 


1.800 


1.800 


2.000 


7 


3.000 


1.800 


2.000 


2.000 


8 


2.500 


2.000 


2.000 


1.800 


10 


3.000 


2.500 


2.250 


2.500 


11 


2.000 


1.800 


1.800 


1.500 


12 


3.000 


1.200 


1.200 


1.200 


13 


2.000 


1.000 


1.200 


1.200 



Coats that form on Lead. 
In seeking to ascertain the nature of the protecting coat which 
Experiments with chloride of sodium and Cochituate water are recorded on 



>. 17. 



Up 



39 

forms in all the waters hitherto experimented with, the influence of or- 
ganic matter was first considered. 

500cc. of each of several waters were evaporated to dryness over 
a water-bath, ignited, and redissolved in an equal measure of distilled 
water. There remained a small insoluble residue, which readily dis- 
solved, with effervescence, in hydrochloric or acetic acid, — indicating 
carbonate of lime. Bars of lead were exposed to these prepared solu- 
tions. A bluish-white coat formed upon the lead in each. 
1 Table XXIV. 

Experiments with the several Waters deprived of their Organic 
Matter' and Carbonate of Lime.* 



Days. 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. 


Cam- 
bridge. 


Cochit- 
uate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 


1 


3.000 


0.000 


0.500 


5.000 


6.000 


15.000 


5.000 


4.000 


4 


1.000 


0.000 


0.500 


0.500 


2.500 


2.000 


12.000 


2.000 


5 


1.500 


0.010 


0.010 


0.020 


8.000 


1.000 


15.000 


0.500 


8 


2.000 


0.010 


0.500 


0.800 


10.000 


2.000 


3.000 


1.000 


9 


0.500 


0.050 


0.050 


0.100 


4.000 


4.000 


1.500 


1.500 


11 


0.500 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


0.800 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


18 


0.500 


0.800 


0.80O 


0.800 


20.000 


30.000 


0.800 


0.500 


37 


1.500 


1.000 


2.000 


1.250 


12.000 


3.000 


0.700 


1.500 


42 


1.250 


1.000 


1 .000 


2.000 


2.000 


20.000 


8.000 


0.100 


44 


15.000 


1.500 


1.000 


0.800 


0.200 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


47 


15.000 


0.500 


0.100 


1.500 


0.500 


0.100 


0.100 


0.100 


48 


0.200 


0.100 


0.300 


0.100 


1.000 


0.200 


0.100 


0.300 


49 


0.400 


0.400 


0.500 


0.300 


2.000 


0.500 


0.400 


0.400 


50 


0.500 


0.200 


0.900 


1.000 


2.000 


2.500 


1.000 


0.100 


52 


1.750 


0.010 


1.800 


1.800 


1.000 


3.000 


0.100 


0.100 



It will be seen, on comparing the results of their actions with those 
of the natural waters, that they are more protracted and vigorous, that 
they approach more nearly the action of distilled water, and that no 
protecting coat can be said to have formed. 

Three kinds of coating upon lead have fallen under my notice : a 
bluish gray one, which, according to Winkelbleck, Mitscherlich, and 
others,^ a simple suboxide ; a reddish one, which formed in Croton, 
Schuylkill, and Jamaica waters ; and a white one. 

The coat of suboxide is insoluble in water. When the quantity 
of oxygen in solution in a given water is small, this coat will be first 
formed. It is the only one I have seen in Croton pipes less than two 

* Professor Silliman, Jr., lias remarked of the alkaline reaction which the redis- 
1 red residues gave. The reaction of the ahove solutions was not observed. In 
their extreme dilution, an alkaline reaction could not have been appreciable. 



40 

years in use. The addition to this coat of slimy organic matter, oxide 
of iron, and, to some extent, carbonate of lead, forms the reddish coat, 
the impermeable character of which, for all practical purposes, is illus- 
trated in the appearance of Croton pipe five years in use, and already 
referred to. The white coat, it has been observed, consists chiefly of 
carbonates and sulphates. 

Solubility of Oxide of Lead. 

I have already noticed the contrariety of opinion upon the solubil- 
ity of the oxide of lead. I have repeated the experiments of Yorke, and 
confirmed his results, and am, moreover, satisfied that, had Thompson 
and Philips concentrated the filtrates which they supposed to contain 
no lead, they would have detected it without difficulty. * 

A flask containing distilled water and lead shavings was corked 
and placed aside for a few days. A deposit of carbonate and hydrate 
of lead formed around and upon the lead shavings. The contents of 
the flask were carefully poured upon a double filter of Swedish paper, 
and the filtrate concentrated. It gave a distinct precipitate with hydro- 
sulphuric acid. 

Tea and Coffee Grounds unite with Lead in Solution. 
It has been an occasion of surprise, that numerous families have 
for a long period employed well-water that corroded leaden pipe so rap- 
idly as- to require replacement in from six to eighteen months, and yet, 
so far as they or their physicians know, have suffered no illness attrib- 
utable to the water. This fact suggested two considerations : — 
1st. Are all lead compounds equally poisonous ? 
2d. If so, is the quantity which finds its way into the organism suf- 
ficient to produce the maladies attributed to lead ? 

It may be assumed that water flowing directly through a leaden 
pipe of an inch bore and not more than thirty feet in length will or- 
dinarily be identical in constitution with that in the source from which 
it is drawn. That only which has been some time at rest would be 
expected to contain lead. Accordingly, there is more care that the 
water first drawn be thrown away. The first morning draught is 
usually in the form of tea or coffee. 

The following experiments throw light upon this point. 
To boiling water containing lead in solution tea was added, in the 
quantity usually taken in the preparation of the beverage (a gramme 
to 50cc), the temperature maintained three minutes just below the boil- 
ing point, and the decoction filtered off. 



<^/ 



41 

The filtrate was evaporated to dryness, ignited, redissolved, and the 
precipitate with hydrosulphuric acid made and estimated as already 
described. 

I. 50cc. of lead solution, containing one thousandth of its weight of 
lead, with lgr. of black tea, lost ninety-nine hundredths of its lead. 

Originally present, 0.05gr. of lead. 

After separation from the grounds, 0.0005 " 

II. 55cc of solution containing one tenth as much lead as the 
above, with the above quantity of tea, lost more than eleven twelfths 
of its lead. 

Originally present in solution, 0.005gr. of lead. 

After separation from the grounds, 0.0004 " 
The experiments with coffee yielded the following results : — 
I. 50cc. of lead solution, containing one thousandth of its weight 
of lead, with lOcc. of coffee-grounds, were boiled three minutes, and 
the decoction poured off. The residue was drained .through Swedish 
filtering-paper, the filtrate added to the liquor poured off, and evapo- 
rated to dryness, ignited, redissolved, treated with hydrosulphuric acid, 
and the precipitate estimated as before. 

It had lost more than forty-nine fiftieths of the lead. 
Originally in solution, 0.05gr. of lead. 

After separation from the grounds, 0.0009 
II 50cc. of solution, containing one tenth as much lead as that in 
the last experiment, were boiled with 5cc. of coffee-grounds, and treat- 
ed as above. It had lost more than eleven twelfths of its lead. 
Originally in solution, 0.005gr. of lead. 

After separation from the grounds, 0.0005 
These results contribute to account for the circumstance mentioned 

above.* 

. ,, may not be unacceptable to pre.ent here an idea of the degree of danger to 
which "elns drinking Crot.n and Fa.r.nonn, or Cochttuate water (after the n.s, 
few weeks of use) are exposed. 

„„„, .«„ u* ^ j*-. 7f;:;;i'X. T-'of _» « f «. of *. 

t„ Poroira's Materia Mcdica, it is staieu 

In Feieiras . for certain diseases. 

. .„., .rnins ' repeated twice or thrice aduy, ai C 5 
one to ten gra»u, P ^ ^^^ tw0 grains . the med.um, 

The —— F«* -£ a ^ me More than hal f f tl ,e common su g ar of 
TT U Zee atoms of water, is lead. Of this, it is advised to g,vc a ha f- 
' Cad ' , i v for particular cases. At this rate, in ten days five grammes would 

gramme dan), t 

^om^i-mount it would scorn that medical practice has recorded no injurious 



V » 



42 



Other Materials than Lead for Service-pipes. 

I have remarked that this investigation was instituted chiefly with a 
view to determine the trustworthiness of lead. Experiments have, how- 
effects. Let it be presumed, however, that this quantity, taken in the absence of 
illness, and distributed through a long period, may in some instances be productive 
of disease. If we take the blood, muscles, and other organs of a man who has 
been sacrificed to lead maladies, we may ascertain the amount of lead in the sys- 
tem at the time of death (or approximately so), and by examining the fasces, the 
minimum, at least, of what was received daily, or in a period a little longer, and 
from these data some estimate may be formed of how much lead would be required 
to produce a given disease. 

Fortunately an instance is on record. (Jinn, d'Hygi&ne, 1840, Juill., pp. 180-188.) 

In a case of encephalopathy, investigated after death by Devergie, quantitative 

determinations of the lead in several organs, in the blood, and in the faeces, were 

made. They contained of Sulphate of lead, the form in which the analyses were 

made : — 

Kidneys, 8oz. ldr 0.002 gramme. 

Muscle, 12oz. 0.026 " 

Blood, 7oz. 0.050 " 

Stomach, total, 0.030 " 

Lungs, " trace. 

Gall bladder and bile, total, .... 0.004 " 
Urinary bladder, " 0.005 " 

Considering the muscles and blood as composing the larger bulk of the organism, 
and converting the sulphate of lead into lead, we have, assuming the blood to be 
25lbs., and the muscles to be 601bs., 

Lead. 

In the blood, 1.560 grammes. 

" muscles, 1.040 " 

The quantities of lead in the stomach and intestines were large : as there is no 
quantitative guide in relation to the latter in the results of Devergie, we may per- 
haps safely assume that all the lead in them and in all the organs and juices be- 
side, exclusive of the muscles and blood, may have been half that of the blood 
= 0.780 gramme. The whole body may then be considered, at a minimum, to 
have had 3.380 grammes of lead. 

A definite amount of lead, in this case, was found in the excrements, as might 
be conceived from its combining with the chyme, without going through the round 
of the circulation. Besides this, another quantity was secreted from the kidneys 
and liver, as both these organs contained it. 

Let it be granted that two thirds of the whole quantity of lead received in a 
very diluted solution — such as Jamaica water that has been standing thirty-six 
hours in leaden pipe — is detained in the system of an individual drinking it. 

3.380+1.690=5.070 grammes equals the quantity, with this supposition 
(which cannot err unfavorably to those who disapprove of leaden pipes), neces- 
sary to produce a disease such as that mentioned above ; that is, necessary in 



'/«-* 



43 

ever, to some extent, been made with other substances. The general 
conditions have been observed in experimenting with them that had 

order that 3.380 grammes, the quantity found in the deceased body, may enter the 
system. 

Now how muck Jamaica water, that had been at rest thirty-six hours in leaden pipe, 
must be drunk, to receive 5.070 grammes of lead ? 

Such water from the Worcester Railroad Depot yielded, in 500cc, 0.00002gr. 
of lead. A gallon, at this rate, would have furnished O.OOOIHgr. 

The quantity to be drunk, given by division of 5.070 by 0.00018, is 28,166 gallons. 
Were an individual to drink a gallon each day of water so exposed, he would 
consume the above quantity in seventy-six years. 

The water will ordinarily not be at rest more than twelve hours. The period 
required for the above task would therefore be increased threefold, making it two 
hundred and twenty-cigkt years. 

But for quite as much as one half of the time, the first draught from the pipe 
will have been appropriated to other purposes, and the morning beverage will be 
untainted. This doubles the above period, making it four hundred and fifty-six 
years. 

But, again, the pipe in general use being five eighths of an inch in diameter, of 
which fifty feet will be more than the average length of pipe employed in private 
residences, it will never be possible to expose more than two thirds of a gallon to 
the action of the water. This consideration requires an increase of the above pe- 
riod one half, — to six hundred and eighty-four years. 

Again, in the preparation of tea and coffee, the morning beverages would lose a 
large proportion of their lead. Grant that it be but three fourths, and the period 
becomes two thousand seven hundred and thirty-six years. 

But still again, these two thirds of a gallon must ordinarily be shared between 
from two to eight persons, — five on an average ; that is, any member of a family 
of this number would receive about one fifth of it, and in order to produce the 
disease mentioned in the outset by drinking such water, it would be required to 
live thirteen thousand six hundred and eighty years. 

Even this is not placing the want of any foundation for sol.citude in its strong- 

est light. ..if. -j 

It will be seen by referring to the analyses of Devergie, that the ftecesconta.ned 
023-r of sulphate of lead. Converting this sulphate into lead, in round numbers, 
018er passed from the system in a short period. It was contained in the faeces, 
but how much is not stated. Taking in connection the quantity escapmg with the 
liquid excrements, we may probably be justified in saying tins amount passed away 

^nt we have seen that Jamaica water contains, after thirty-six hours' exposure, 
00018gr. in a gallon, a quantity not one hundredth as large as that in the solid 
excrements above referred to. 

I 1 as already been suggested that the quantity so escaping m.ght be cons.dered 

e third of the whole; — it would accordingly require a triple quantity to sc- 

aS bU - 'Tin- time the detention of two thirds in the organism. The period to which 

C T ",' v would bring the contemplation I will not venture to express. Neg- 



44 



been regarded with lead, namely, equal volumes of water to equal sur- 
faces of substance, that comparison might be instituted. 
Table XXV. 
Experiments with Copper Turnings. 
Water concentrated to one third of its volume. 



Days. 

1 

11 

17 
25 

37 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. 


Cam- 
bridge. 


Cochit- 
uate a. 


Cochit- 
uate 6. 


Cochit- 
uate c. 


Croton. 


Fair- 
mount. 


Jamaica. 


Troy. 




0.500 
0.500 
0.001 
0.000 


















0.001 
1.000 
0.005 
0.000 


0.000 
1.000 
0.002 


0.001 
0.500 
0.050 
0.005 


0.002 
1.000 
0.080 
0.050 


0.000 
1.000 


0.000 
0.010 
0.002 


0.000 
0.500 
0.001 
0.000 


0.001 
0.010 
0.050 


0.000 
0.500 
0.001 
0.010 


0.050 





These experiments show only a feeble action of aerated water on 
copper. 

Table XXVI. 
Experiments with Tin. 
The tin contained arsenic as an impurity. Chemically pure tin 
yielded precisely the same results when exposed to the same waters. 
Bars of size already mentioned. lOcc. of water concentrated to from 
3 to 5cc. Precipitates with hydrosulphuric acid and oxide of tin are 
both represented in the numbers below. 



Days. 


Cochituate. 


Croton. 


Fairmount. 


Jamaica. 


Distilled 
Water. 


Albany. Cambridge. 


Troy. 


1 

2 


0.100 


0.100 


0.000 


0.000 










4 


0.020 


0.010 


0.000 


0.000 


0.100 








6 


0.010 


0.010 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 








8 


0.001 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.001 








10 


0.005 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 


0.000 








12 


0.005 


0.001 


0.001 


0.001 


0.001 


0.500 


0.500 


0.500 


17 


1.000 


1.000 


1.000 


1.000 


1.000 


0.050 


2.000 


2.000 


26 


8.000 


15.000 


10.000 


8.000 


0.010 


0.000 


50.000 


0.010 


38 


10.000 


25.000 


8.000 


10.000 


3.000 


7.000 


1.000 


10.000 


75 


10.000 


15.000 15.000 


10.000 


4.000 4.000 


7.000 1 


20.000 



The action in ten days' exposure was inconsiderable, 
formed on the tin. 



No coat 



lecting it, let it be supposed that in some cases the lead present in water will be 
doubled. The lease of life would still be for 6,840 years. If it were increased ten- 
fold it would be reduced only to 684 years. 

The foregoing note is in the main extracted from my last letter to the Water- 
Commissioners. See Water-Com. Rep., 1848. 



it r 



45 

A portion of Cochituate water that had been standing two months 
in tin pipe, which was kindly furnished last February by the engineer 
of the water-works, was evaporated to dryness with carbonate of soda, 
and gave with the blowpipe a malleable metallic button. The 'precip- 
itated oxide from this water, that from distilled water acting upon 
chemically pure tin, and that from Cochituate and the various other 
waters upon the impure tin, were identical in appearance. 

Lehman remarks of the solubility of tin in solutions of salammo- 
niac, alum, and bisulphate and bitartrate of potassa.* 

' Lindes has examined the solutions which by boiling attack tin 
vessels. According to his experiments, tin is rapidly brought into so- 
lution, without precipitating the oxide by alum, salammoniac, and bi- 
sulphate of potassa. Without dissolving the oxide, but merely deposit- 
in<* it, chlorides of barium and calcium, neutral carbonate and bicar- 
bonate of potassa, sulphates of potassa, soda, and magnesia, chloride of 
sodium, tartrates of ammonia and potassa, and borate of potassa.' t 

These experiments were made with the aid of heat. Time ac- 
complished the same end in all the waters I have employed, including 
distilled water, producing either solution or deposite of the oxide, not 
upon the tin, but the bottom of the containing vessel. 

Lindes did not observe that saltpetre acted with the aid of elevated 
temperature. The time in his experiments was probably too short, as 
I have found that tin at common temperatures yields the insoluble ox- 
ide in a solution of saltpetre. 

Table XXVII. 
Experiments with Tinned Copper Pipe.\ 

Two days' exposure. lOOcc. condensed to 5cc. 



Days 



Distilled 

Water. 



15 000 



Cochituate. 



20.000 



Croton. 



10.000 



Jamaica. 



20 000 



Fairmount. 



20.000 



Albany. 



20.000 



Cambridge 
Hard Water. 



20.000 



Upon the authority of Dr. Hayes § I have ventured to speak of the 
safe use of tinned copper pipes, notwithstanding the fact of the slow 
erosion. 

* Taschenbuch der Chemie, 1848, S. 192. 

t Berzeliua, Jahrs Bericht, Vol. XII., S. 110, 1833. 

+ The pipe, live eighths of an inch in diameter, was washed with warm diluted 
b -drochloric acid, then with warm diluted potassa, then with distilled water, and 
then successively exposed to the different waters mentioned above. 

s Report to the Board of Consulting Physicians, Boston, 1848. 



46 

Iron service-pipes such as are employed for the circulation of hot 
water and steam, for warming purposes, have been proposed, and are in 
use. I am informed that some persons who laid them down a few 
months since for the distribution of Cochituate water have decided to 
replace them with lead, on account of the rust, which unfits the water 
for washing. 

Iron pipes tinned within and without have been submitted to me. I 
have no knowledge of the durability of the coat of tin. Should it prove 
to be lasting, this pipe will have the double advantage of the strength of 
iron and the feeble action which tin experiences. 

A pipe consisting of gutta percha and India rubber was found to 
yield an extract to water, which gradually diminished, until the taste 
was no longer impaired. The strength of the specimen submitted to 
me was not sufficient to sustain the pressure of actual service. 

Pipes of pure gutta percha have been proposed by Dr. Webster, 
and, from all the experiments I have been able to make, as well as 
from the known chemical properties of the substance, I shall not be 
surprised to find that they may be successfully introduced into wells. 
Its susceptibility to extension when heated, if only to the temperature 
of boiling water, precludes its use for some of the purposes of service- 
pipes. 

Glass pipes have been used for the transmission of water, where 
the descent was moderate, and the head inconsiderable. Where the 
pressure is sufficient to supply the upper rooms of houses, practice has 
shown that the pipes are liable to be shattered by the concussion oc- 
casioned by shutting oft* the water. 

Summary of Conclusions relating to the Different Kinds of 
Water and Leaden Service-pipe. 
The waters used by man, in the various forms of beverage and for 
culinary purposes, are of two classes, viz. : — 

x 1. Open waters, derived from rain-falls and surface drainage, 
like ponds, lakes, rivers, and some springs ; and 

2. Waters concealed from sunlight, and supplied by lixiviation 
through soils or rock, or both, of greater or less depth, 'such as wells - 
and certain springs* 

Rain-water is to some extent employed as a beverage. It is more nearly allied 
to waters derived from surface drainage. 



2*/ 



47 



They differ, (a.) in temperature ; well-water, through a large part 
of the year, is colder than lake, pond, or river water; — (b.) in the per- 
centage of gases in solution ; recently drawn well-water, in summer 
particularly, parts with a quantity of air upon exposure to the surface 
temperature. In winter these relationships must to some extent be in- 
verted, in high latitudes for a longer, and in lower latitudes for a short- 
er period. 

(c.) They differ in the percentage of inorganic matter in solution ; 
well-waters contain more ; — (d.) in the relative proportions of salts 
in solution ; well-waters contain more nitrates and chlorides ; — and 
(e.) in the percentage of organic matter ; well-waters contain less. 

Relations of Lead to Air and Water, 
{a.) Lead is not oxidated in dry air, or (Z».) in pure water deprived 
of air. (c.) It is oxidated in water, other things being equal, in gen- 
eral proportion to the amount of uncombined oxygen in solution. 
(d.) When present in sufficient quantity, nitrates in neutral waters are, 
to some extent, reduced by lead, (e.) Both nitrates and chlorides pro- 
mote the solution of some coats formed on lead. 

(/•) Organic matter influences the action of water upon lead. If in- 
soluble, it impairs the action by facilitating the escape of air ; if sol- 
uble, by consuming the oxygen in solution, and by reducing the nitrates 
when present. The green plants, so called, and animalculae which 
evolve oxygen, are abundant in open waters in warm weather only, 
and of course when the capacity of water to retain air in solution is 
lowest ; so that, although oxygen is produced in open waters by these 
microscopic organisms, it does not increase the vigor of their action 

upon lead. 

(g.) Hydrated peroxide of iron (iron-rust) in water is not reduced 
by lead. Hence may be inferred the freedom from corrosion of leaden 
pipes connected with iron mains, so far as the reduction of the pulver- 
ulent peroxide of iron may influence it. 

(h.) Alkaline chlorides in natural waters deprived of air do not cor- 
rode lead (i.) Salts, generally, impair the action of waters upon lead, 
by lessening their solvent power for air, and by lessening their solvent 

power for other salts. 

A coat of greater or less permeability forms in all natural waters 
t0 wh ich lead is exposed. The first coat (j.) is a simple suboxide ab- 
solutely insoluble in water, and solutions of salts generally. This be- 
comes converted in some waters into a .higher oxide, and this higher 



48 

oxide, uniting with water and carbonic acid, forms a coat (k.) soluble in 
from 7,000 to 10,000 times its weight of pure water. The above ox- 
ide unites with sulphuric and other acids which sometimes enter into 
the constitution of the coat k ; — uniting with organic matter and iron- 
rust, it forms another coat(Z.) which is in the highest degree protect- 
ive. The perfection of this coat, and of the first above mentioned, may- 
be inferred from the small quantity of lead found in Croton water (New 
York), after an exposure in pipes of from twelve to thirty-six hours, and 
from the absence of an appreciable quantity in Fairmount water (Phil- 
adelphia), after an exposure of thirty-six hours, when concentrated to 
one two-hundredth of its bulk. 

Reasons why the Water of Lake Cochituate served through Iron 

Mains and Leaden Distribution-pipes may be safely employed as 

a Beverage in any Form. 

(a.) It has the small measures of air, nitrates, and chlorides, the large 
proportion of organic matter, soluble and insoluble, and exposure to the 
sun, above referred to as grounds of distinction in the relations to lead 
between lake, pond, or river water, and well-water. 

(b.) In experiments with Croton, Fairmount, Jamaica, and Cochituate 
waters, made with lead, lead soldered to iron, to tin, to copper, and to 
brass, prolonged from mid-winter to the middle of summer, the rela- 
tions of the last of these waters to lead were found to be as favorable 
as were those of either of the others. 

(c.) Large numbers of individuals in the daily and unrestricted use 
of Fairmount, Croton, and Jamaica waters served through lead are not 
known by physicians of great eminence and extensive practice to suf- 
fer in any degree from lead maladies. 

(d.) A coat forms upon lead in Cochituate, as in the other waters 
above mentioned, which for all practical purposes becomes, in pro- 
cess of time, impermeable to and insoluble in the water in which 
it occurs. 









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